There’s a fine line between trust and suspicion. A friend I picked up from the station, told me I was too trusting, as she climbed into my unlocked car.
“Anyone could have opened the door and attacked you.”
Yeah. They could. But they didn’t. What was trusting of me, could arguably be suspicious of her.
Experiences shape our suspicions and ability to trust. She personally knows 3 people who had been attacked by leaving their car passenger door open. I don’t know any.
Who was right?
Both of us.
How do we weigh up and assess the opinions that are presented to us? How do we avoid bad judgement in decisions that are either too suspicious and sensible or too trusting and reckless?
When stories like these have their own mini tipping points, we see them grow into well known statements. “It’s dangerous to walk at night”, “Never do business without a contract”, “Don’t travel alone”, “Don’t get into cars with strangers.”
Typically, the wisdom of the crowds is just that, wise. Sensible, thought through, based on experience and likely to keep us out of trouble.
But some conventional wisdom needs to be challenged by those who are willing to question the problems they see in such well held beliefs.
Don’t get into cars with strangers. Lyft ignored that. Don’t let strangers sleep in your house. AirBnB ignored that. Don’t pay money for goods you haven’t seen. eBay ignored that. Don’t share personal details online. Facebook ignored that.
And as these challenging models reached their own tipping point, not only are these companies worth billions but they’ve enabled millions of people to earn additional streams of income through their too ‘trusting’ platforms. Everyone’s a winner. (Except the sensible people, with their sensible business models who haven’t seen a new solution to a problem they didn’t believe existed. Taxi firms, hotels, news and retail shops have missed a beat).
By all means, maintain your suspicions and believe the conventional wisdom of others. Just don’t complain when other people come up with an idea that you wish was yours or that threatens your livelihood.
I’d certainly prefer to be too trusting and question some conventional wisdom, even if it means, I’m occasionally taken for a ride.
Where could increased trust give you more opportunities?